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Top 10 Movies That Lived Up to the Hype

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Script written by Garrett Alden. Set your expectations to “high”. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Lived up to the Hype. For this list, we’ll be looking at the films whose level of hype, or high expectations, were well deserved.
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Top 10 Movies That Lived Up To the Hype

Set your expectations to “high”. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies That Lived up to the Hype.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the films whose level of hype, or high expectations, were well deserved.

#10: “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

“The Lord of the Rings” is a seminal fantasy book series whose story was considered impossible to film throughout most of the 20th century, despite an animated attempt. Not only that, but the trailers for this movie aired just when the internet’s hype machine was beginning to take shape. However, “Fellowship” more than exceeded expectations thanks to revolutionary effects, gorgeous scenery, a soaring score, spectacular acting, amazing set pieces, surprisingly good pacing for such a long film, and much more. The movie, and eventually the trilogy, managed to please hardcore fans and general audiences alike, while becoming a landmark of filmmaking in general and ultimately the fantasy film to rule them all.

#9: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

Speaking of groundbreaking and influential films, the second “Terminator” movie set the standard in several areas, like its impressive computer-generated effects, as well as its impact on the movie industry, influencing Hollywood’s emphasis on sequels. “T2” itself is a phenomenal film, doing everything its predecessor did, but bigger and, more importantly, better. The action scenes are thrilling and explosive, but the characters also have greater depth. Meanwhile, the thematic elements, like the horrors of nuclear Armageddon, are also well executed. So few sequels can even equal the original, but “Terminator 2” surpassed it, and fan expectations, with gusto.

#8: “Inception” (2010)

The legendary trailer for this mind-bending film had everyone excited to see if Christopher Nolan could deliver on the promise it displayed. As it turned out, “Inception” was indeed worthy of its reputation. Its inventive take on the much-used sci-fi concept of entering people’s dreams is well developed, and its layered plot and settings make it worthy of watching several times. The visuals are still spectacular today and the strong central character is highly compelling, even if a few of the side characters are a little underutilized. Overall, it’s a film that gives us a lot of boom for our buck…so to speak.

#7: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

Fans had not seen anything from director George Miller’s gritty, post-apocalyptic desert series for decades when “Fury Road” came on the scene, so expectations were high for this high octane film. Thankfully, it stepped on the gas and never let up, featuring scene after scene of breathtaking, practical stunts and action, along with beautifully bleak scenery and a compelling, if simple story. Not only did “Fury Road” deliver on the hype, but it also has us eagerly awaiting the day when we can return to Mad Max’s insane thrill ride of a world once again.

#6: “Logan” (2017)

When news broke that “Logan” would be Hugh Jackman’s final film as Wolverine, we all hoped that he would go out on top – and boy, did he pull it off! “Logan” follows an older, more grizzled and defeated Wolverine as he is pulled into one last adventure that sees him try to help a young mutant reach her friends. The story borrows elements from Westerns and features plenty of bloody action, standout performances from all the leads, as well as some truly heartbreaking moments. One of the “X-Men” franchise’s greatest strengths has been its diverse cast of characters, but this personal story about just one may be its best.

#5: “Toy Story 3” (2010)

After two universally acclaimed animated masterpieces, the standard of “Toy Story” movies had been set almost unrealistically high when its third installment came around. However, “Toy Story 3” managed to deliver a funny, heartfelt send-off to the franchise, or what we thought was a send-off at the time. It’s about the toys’ attempts to return to their owner Andy, despite his having outgrown them. Although we’re thrilled that Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang are coming back again, we would have been perfectly content if this had been their final adventure.

#4: “The Avengers” (2012)

Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen plenty of hyped movies in its roster since this film, like “Captain America: Civil War,” the first “Avengers” movie takes the cake. The MCU had been building up smaller connections between its standalone movies, but “The Avengers” was its first big crossover event and the anticipation was huge. However, the film surpassed our expectations and featured a fun, thrilling, and endlessly watchable story that united the mightiest heroes in a fashion that pleased casual audiences, critics, and comic book fans alike, while breaking box office records in the process.

#3: “Jurassic Park” (1993)

Universal, the company that distributed this film, put out an impressive pre-game marketing campaign for “Jurassic Park,” with dozens of products plastered with its logo. The film also had to live up to the desires of kids, and kids at heart, to see amazing dinosaurs realized on screen. “Jurassic Park,” like the dinosaurs themselves, found a way. Featuring compelling characters, a stirring soundtrack, unforgettable sequences, and effects that still hold up today, “Jurassic Park” is pure blockbuster magic, brought to us by the master of it, Steven Spielberg.

#2: “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” (2015)

Pleasing “Star Wars” fans can be…tricky, to say the least. The franchise is among the most beloved in all of pop culture and its juggernaut of a hype train has let us down on some occasions. However, the seventh main film of the franchise managed to move the story forward with new, interesting characters, while featuring returning favorites who got their time to shine again, as well as the series’ signature sci-fi action. Though some have criticized its similarities to prior films, sometimes the best way to satisfy people is to give them something familiar.
Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
“Casino Royale” (2006)
“Star Trek” (2009)
“Deadpool” (2016)

#1: “The Dark Knight” (2008)

A legendarily memorable trailer and Heath Ledger’s untimely death sent the hype for this follow-up to the already excellent “Batman Begins” into overdrive, to the point where we were sure that Batman and the Joker’s battle for Gotham’s soul was going to be amazing. “The Dark Knight” surpassed our hype to become something else entirely, conveying an epic battle of ideologies in a supremely entertaining superhero movie. All of this is helped by gripping action, great performances, and scene after scene of iconic moments and lines that have left their mark on pop culture forever.

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